The global COVID-19 pandemic dramatically altered daily life, sending a shockwave of uncertainty through the global economy. During this period, businesses and consumers have had to adapt. Companies are operating in new ways, and consumers adopted new buying behaviors. In this post, we’ll discuss some recommendations for broadcasters and your advertisers.

You are in a unique position to guide your clients through this time and to help them maintain a strong connection with their target audience. Now is the time for advertisers to get creative and to adjust the way they reach people.


Media consumption is up, a good sign for advertisers

A large part of the population is home, and their content consumption doubled in 2020. People spent almost seven hours per day consuming, versus a little over three hours per day pre-pandemic. That uptick signals positive signs for digital advertising.

Additionally, more people listened to the radio in 2020, proving that a lack of a commute didn’t result in lost listeners.

These mediums can reach your advertisers’ target markets. They simply need the right messaging and creative to attract new and returning customers. Here are some broadcaster recommendations to share with your advertisers.


Take advantage of the opportunity to maintain brand awareness

For businesses struggling to operate in a larger capacity, you should recommend branding ad spots. With a potentially larger-than-average online viewing audience, pivoting from conversion-focused to brand awareness campaigns can make sense.

Perhaps the biggest challenge you’re facing is keeping current clients engaged and focused on their advertising message. With in-store sales falling, suggesting to an advertiser that they focus on the top of the funnel may spark interest and reinvigorate their ad campaigns. By top-loading the brand in the consumer’s mind, the advertiser can stay relevant and sustain momentum from previous campaigns.

When an advertiser decides to cut back on campaign spending, they run the risk of fading from consumers’ minds, which can lead to losing both current and future sales. A sustained voice can lead to solidifying a share of the marketplace.

Independent media consultant Brad Adgate recently touched on this idea in an article for Forbes, saying, “There have been a number of studies going back nearly one century that point out the advantages of maintaining or even increasing ad budgets during a weaker economy. Those advertisers that maintained or grew their ad spending increased sales and market share during the recession and afterward.”


How digital ad tactics can serve brand awareness campaigns

Keeping an advertiser’s brand in the minds of consumers can lead to stronger results after an economic crisis. Tactics to consider in a brand awareness strategy include:

  • Display: Target an audience with banner ads that reinforce the advertiser’s brand, so the business sticks in consumers’ minds as they scroll through the news of the day.
  • Video: Captivate people’s attention by creating an immediate visual connection that they are likely to recall.
  • Over-the-top (OTT): As subscriptions increase and people install more internet-connected devices in their homes, solidify the brand with commercials. These can plant seeds in consumers’ minds when they need the good or service.
  • Geofencing with past locations (also known as geocookie): Reach people at home while reminding them of the local businesses they normally visit. Include messaging about reopening ins or alternative ways to shop or transact online.

These are just a few examples. Consider similar alternatives that will keep advertisers top-of-mind with consumers.


Adjust messaging and creative to support brand awareness campaigns

Messaging and creative in brand awareness campaigns should shift. Avoid images of crowds, restaurants and busy shopping centers. Instead, use pictures of outdoor locations, people at home or people doing other safe activities. Messaging should focus on offering support for customers and the local community.

Another option is to promote the steps advertisers are taking to support the community. For example, if they are donating to local non-profits or healthcare workers or are making an impact in another way, share that message.


Keep business moving with conversion-focused campaigns

Many advertisers shifted their business models to serve customers. Many locations never closed, and those companies should use conversion-focused campaigns.


How digital ad tactics serve conversion-focused campaigns

Attract new and existing customers to companies with these ad types:

  • Display: Reach an audience with banner ads that relay how the business is serving the community. Information on store hours, as well as delivery or pickup options, are helpful.
  • Video: Show people with visual advertising how a company is operating. Demonstrate how great a product is. Then, let consumers visualize it in their hands without having to travel to get it.
  • OTT: Reach consumers with a well-produced commercial explaining that the advertiser is open for business. This visual presentation could trigger a sale. A family is watching TV when an ad appears for a furniture store offering a sale and free delivery. The couch they’re sitting on looks worn, but they can suddenly envision upgrading the family room.
  • Geofencing with past locations (also known as geocookie): Target neighborhoods where people live with location-based ads, reminding them that much-needed goods or services are just around the corner.
  • Search Engine Marketing (SEM): Improve an advertiser’s visibility when consumers are searching for solutions. An example could be a company specializing in edible arrangements that added delivery. They can get a beautiful bouquet delivered to a family member celebrating a birthday who cannot have a party because of current restrictions.

Businesses that can adapt can connect with a growing digital audience, making the extra effort pay off in spades.


It’s time to tweak location-based advertising campaigns

People are reducing time spent in public, leading to a shift away from location-based advertising in many cases, but there are still opportunities to reach people. More people are home, and there’s less foot traffic.

Consider moving geofences to new areas as user behavior changes. Try using geofencing with past locations (also known as geocookie) to reach an audience that visited a site before COVID-19. Remember the neighborhood hardware store? It’s open and may be preferred by locals to the big-box store across town. What about a nearby gym or studio now open? Let consumers know what’s happening just down the street with geofencing.


Adjust the creative for conversion campaigns, too

Similar to brand awareness campaigns, the imagery and messaging should avoid anything that appears insensitive. Messaging should have a clear, strong call to action. Advertisers may also want to consider promotions to encourage action. For example, offering free delivery, discounts on larger orders and other incentives may increase conversions.


Help advertisers choose the best path forward

Whether an advertiser is adjusting their business model or weathering the storm, options are available. You can provide them the right digital advertising path. The crucial part is to be proactive and to reach out with ideas and ways to support them. If you have questions, please get in touch at